CSI basketball players make their Division I futures known

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The College of Southern Idaho Men's Basketball team featured three signees, including All-American Khalid Thomas who has signed with Texas Tech. The forward is out until at least mid-December with a broken foot, but he told me that the Raiders coaching staff have been behind him 100 percent.

Then's there Coleman Sparling. The Ellensburg, Washington native played for his father Greg at Central Washington University before transferring to CSI.

He along with Brayden Parker will be with CSI for just one year. Parker, is a graduate of the three-time defending state champion, Preston High School.

He initially signed with Idaho State University, but missed a qualification for the ACT, and so he hoped to make the most of his experience at CSI.

Thomas exclaimed, "it's tough just watching practice and watching games, it's hard not being able to help." "Right now I'm just words, it is what it is, can't change it. When I get back, I'm going to make the most of it I'm sure."

CSI coach Jared Phay on Thomas, "he's getting x-rays this week and we'll know more." "He's chomping at the bit to get back out there. It's been good for us in a way for other guys to step up and we'll be that much better when he gets back."

Sparling said, "they call me granddad on the team since I'm the oldest one." "I help everyone get where they need to be, it's been good, I like helping the younger guys figure it out, but I like the older guys help me figure out how CSI is."

Phay on how Sparling transitioned to CSI, "he's been bigtime, he stepped right in as a leader for us." "He's a coach's kid, very mature, very well-respected, I think that's the grandad title."

"Coach Phay has put in the right spot, he has taught me a whole bunch of things," Parker said. "My high school coach was good, but Coach Phay emphasizes what I need to do better and that's what I need."

Phay on Parker's improvement, "he gets better every day because he's just a hard worker." "He's opened eyes in the college basketball world to the point that Idaho State is really getting a steal."

CSIs home opener is Friday against Columbia Basin. They play Mesa Community College on Saturday at 7:30. These games are part of the Hilex Poly Invitational.

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